Respiratory Device Maker ALung Raises $15.8M Series B-1

12 September 2013 Recent News

As it pushes toward a larger commercial rollout in Europe and other markets, respiratory device maker ALung Technologies Inc. has raised a $15.8 million Series B-1 round, the Pittsburgh company announced.

The funding was provided by new investors Allos Ventures and West Capital Partners, joined by returning investors Birchmere Ventures , BlueTree Capital Group, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, Smithfield Trust Co. and individuals, Chief Executive Peter DeComo said.

The company has now raised a total of $55 million from investors, he said, and has a post-money valuation of $63 million.

ALung has never disclosed its full line-up of investors, but VentureWire records show the company has also been backed by Eagle Ventures, Innovation Works, MedFocus Fund and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

The company makes a device used in the intensive care unit, where sufferers of pulmonary diseases like emphysema need assistance with breathing. Patients who do not recover with an artificial lung–an external device that provides more power to the lungs–they sometimes must be placed on a ventilator.

ALung is one of a number of companies with an artificial lung aimed at keeping patients off the ventilator. Its device performs a similar function for the lungs that dialysis machines do for the kidney, Mr. DeComo said.

Using catheter-tipped tubes, the company’s system takes blood from either the femoral or jugular vein, runs the blood through a device that removes carbon dioxide and adds oxygen, he said. Filtering the blood in this way takes some of the hard work off of the patient’s lungs, so that they can begin to recover.

The company faces a number of rivals, including Novalung GmbH, a privately held German company.

But Mr. DeComo said most rivals offer a “passive system” for oxygenation of the blood, whereas ALung uses a centrifugal pump, which makes blood filtering much more efficient. The company’s system also features a console that can show minute changes in a patient’s condition, he said.

The company has pursued regulatory approval in multiple markets at the same time, and has been cleared for sale in Europe, Canada and Australia, the CEO said. The Series B funding will help the company ramp up sales efforts in those markets.

ALung is pursuing approval in several Asian markets, and is also working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Mr. DeComo said.

Source: Venture Wire